Right to Private Defense

Right To Private-Defence

The right of private defence, a primary duty of a person to first help himself, a self-help. A universal truth that a man protects themselves first in any inappropriate circumstances even if the step would result in a crime. In the Indian legal system do we have laws for self-defence?

“The right of self-defence never ceases.

It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and individuals.”

Before coming to it let’s just first know what self-defence is actually?

Self-defence, a right to prevent violence or force by the usage of a sufficient level of violence. The term and its definition seem to be easy but also arises a lot many questions in our mind if we think practically. Questions like what kind of violence? What amount of violence? How to prevent it? What about the situation? And so on. The term itself is complicated and so is the law.

In a judgment Justice K.S Hedge said,

The right of private defence serves a social purpose and that right should be liberally construed

 In India, there are various types of Right of Private Defence

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 provides the right of private defence under Section 96 to Section 106 which may be divided into three portions:

  • S. 96- 98 & S. 106: The common sections.
  • S. 100- 102: Sections related to the body.
  • S. 103-105: Sections related to property.

Limitations Of The Rights Provided:

The right of private defence cannot be claimed by a person under situations provided under S. 99 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which means a person cannot exercise the self-defence rights against acts of

  • A public servant who is acting in a good faith
  • Those who are acting under the authority of a public servant.
  • And also cannot act in a situation where there is plenty of time for public authorities.


In India, the burden of proof lies in the accused in case of a private defence which means the accused has to prove the act done by him/her, an offence for he/she has been accused for is done in exercise of the right of private defence.

The right to self-defence or right of private derived from a maxim “Necessity knows no law” itself makes it clears it is the duty of the state to protect every individual’s right which is why this legal provision of such law has been made. But as usual, every law also creates a bad side as it is easier to misuse such kinds of laws which are dangerous to society. For which, the Indian Legal system has made certain limitations so that the misuse of such laws can be prohibited to a certain extend.

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